Macau's casino sector sees dip in early November, remains hopeful for recovery

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Macau's casino sector sees dip in early November, remains hopeful for recovery

Casino Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) in Macau witnessed a 9% dip to MOP 2.8 billion ($347.6 million) in early November, compared to late October, according to Citigroup. The slump, attributed to seasonal factors, saw both VIP volumes and Mass GGR decrease by 15-17% and 11-13% respectively. VIP demand was reported at a mere 23-25%.

Despite the downturn, JP Morgan analysts DS Kim, Mufan Shi, and Selina Li view the situation positively, equating the figures to summer holiday levels. They indicated that Macau's mass gaming revenues have not only returned to pre-COVID levels but have exceeded them. The first five days of November recorded revenues of MOP$2.8 billion (US$347 million), or an average of MOP$560 million (US$69.5 million) daily, surpassing market expectations.

October's GGR hit a pandemic-era record due to Golden Week and national holidays, with a monthly increase of 30.6% to MOP 19.5 billion ($2.42 billion). This represents a year-on-year rise of 400%, and a ten-month total of MOP 148.5 billion ($18.4 billion), up 315.6% from last year. Despite VIP demand hovering around 23%-25%, premium mass revenues have skyrocketed to 120% of pre-COVID levels.

The Macau Grand Prix weekends are expected to draw crowds of 100,000 daily, which could further boost the sector's performance. Looking forward, the November GGR forecast is projected at 70 percent of 2019 levels.

The government's 2024 budget plan projects a GGR of MOP 210 billion ($26.1 billion), demonstrating optimism for the sector's recovery. This projection, along with the recent performance, suggests that Macau's casino industry is on a path of steady recovery, despite the early November dip.

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